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Grant Thornton Survey: Growing Confidence Among CFOs

A recent survey conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, has shed light on the evolving expectations of chief financial officers (CFOs). According to the findings, CFOs are demonstrating significantly higher levels of confidence in various business aspects compared to previous quarters. The survey, which engaged senior finance executives, unveiled notable shifts in CFO sentiments across key areas.

 

Supply chain expectations witnessed a considerable uptick, with two-thirds (67 percent) of CFOs expressing confidence in their organizations' ability to meet supply chain needs. This marks a significant increase of 22 percentage points from the previous quarter and represents the highest level of confidence recorded since the survey's inception in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Furthermore, CFOs displayed heightened optimism regarding their labor needs, with 57 percent expressing confidence in their ability to meet them. This figure represents an all-time high since the survey began.

 

The survey also revealed an increase in the proportion of CFOs forecasting revenue growth, with 71 percent anticipating revenue increases compared to 66 percent in the previous quarter. This upward trend underscores CFOs' positive outlook on future business prospects despite prevailing economic challenges.

 

Commenting on the findings, Paul Melville, National Managing Principal of CFO Advisory at Grant Thornton, remarked, "Despite the economic turbulence and ongoing challenges such as the shipping crisis in the Red Sea, CFOs remain steadfast in their confidence regarding supply chain management and growth projections. It is evident that CFOs are not only optimistic about the future but also believe in their organizations' capacity to realize growth targets."

 

In addition to gauging CFO sentiment, the survey highlighted the potential for organizations to enhance their tax processes through technological advancements and strategic planning. While 67 percent of CFOs indicated satisfaction with the effectiveness of their tax technology, a significant portion (33 percent) acknowledged the need for improved technological tools in their tax functions.

 

Jim Wittmer, National Managing Partner of Tax Growth at Grant Thornton, emphasized the importance of investing in advanced tax technology to drive better decision-making and streamline operational processes. He noted, "By leveraging innovative technologies, CFOs can position their organizations for sustainable growth while empowering their teams to focus on strategic initiatives."

 

The survey also underscored the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in tax departments, with 30 percent of CFOs reporting current AI integration and an additional 30 percent planning AI adoption within the next 12 months. Despite progress in AI adoption, there remain notable gaps in the implementation of other critical technologies such as data analytics software, tax automation, and business intelligence tools.

 

Looking ahead, CFOs expressed confidence in their ability to navigate cost control measures amid economic uncertainties, with 56 percent indicating confidence in their cost management capabilities. However, concerns regarding potential cost reductions in human capital expenses were raised, with 45 percent of respondents considering cuts in headcount and compensation levels.

 

Furthermore, changes in the federal tax code and the impending implementation of global tax regulations are expected to impact multinational companies' tax liabilities. Despite these challenges, a significant number of CFOs reported limited strategic involvement of tax leaders within their organizations, highlighting opportunities for greater integration of tax functions into strategic decision-making processes.

 

In summary, the survey findings underscore the evolving landscape of CFO expectations and the imperative for organizations to adapt to emerging trends in supply chain management, labor dynamics, revenue growth, tax technology, and strategic tax planning. By embracing technological innovation and fostering collaboration between finance and tax teams, organizations can position themselves for sustained success in an ever-changing business environment.

 

If you are a business owner or CEO within the San Francisco Bay Area or Silicon Valley, in need of an experienced fractional or outsourced CFO to help your company control costs, increase profit margins, improve cash flow as well as identify strategic growth opportunities, our highly skilled outsourced CFO services provide direct access to high-quality expertise in a cost-effective manner.

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